Aromatherapy With Infants
What is the best way to use aromatherapy with infants? There are safe ways to bring the benefits of essential oils to your newborn. There are also cautions you should observe.
Most aromatherapists suggest that no essential oils should be used with a baby under three to six months of age. When using aromatherapy with infants, avoid putting the oils directly on the skin, especially the hands and fingers. This is to avoid unpleasant sensations if the baby rubs its eyes or puts its fist in its mouth. Once the child is a bit older, you can add one drop of oils known to be safe for infants per one ounce of food grade oil, such as grapeseed or jojoba. Avoid potential allergens such as nut oils or chemically laden lotions or oils. Don’t put anything on their skin that you wouldn’t put in their mouth. Another option is to dilute the oils in breast milk (for dispersing into bath water or applying on baby’s skin, not given orally). A single drop of essential oils blended with an ounce or more of carrier oil or milk is plenty.
Aromatherapy With Infants Safety Precautions
Julie Cottle, a naturopath, breastfeeding counselor, and mother of four, has an article on aromatherapy with infants that can be found here.
She lists several safety precautions for using aromatherapy with infants:
• Never give oils internally or put them directly on the skin (essential oils can burn sensitive skin if not properly diluted)
• Don’t use oils in or too close to the eyes or other mucous membranes.
• If any irritation occurs, discontinue use.
• Always check for contraindications and make sure the oil you are using is safe to use on babies.
For dispersing aromatherapy near your infant, avoid using a diffuser until your baby is a bit older. A safer alternative is to put a drop of essential oil in a bowl of hot water and place this well out of reach of children. This is an excellent method when babies and children have colds.
Aromatherapy and Infant Massage Therapy Continuing Education Courses
Institute of Somatic Therapy offers online massage therapy continuing education courses related to infant massage and aromatherapy. To learn more, visit these course offerings:
Aromatherapy for Massage
Photo: “Baby Bathes in Bathroom” by David Castillo Dominici. www.freedigitalphotos.net